(Ottawa) The Bloc Québécois is calling for the immediate revocation of the mandate given to former Governor General David Johnston on foreign interference and the holding of a public and independent inquiry.
Bloc leader Yves-François Blanchet laid out the demand on Monday following the publication of a letter in The Globe and Mail on the weekend, which was written by a whistleblower from the ranks of the Canadian Service. intelligence and security (CSIS). It was this whistleblower who leaked secret documents to The Globe and Mail in recent weeks that shed light on Chinese interference in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections.
In the letter, titled “A Threat Ignored”, the Canadian spy claims to have taken this step which could jeopardize his career, even earning him a prison sentence, because he believes that the Trudeau government did not take the threat of foreign interference seriously enough.
The Globe and Mail published this whistleblower’s letter while protecting his identity because of the penalties he could face.
“When I first became aware of the magnitude of the threat posed by foreign interference to our democratic institutions, I worked – as have many anonymous and tireless colleagues – to equip our leaders knowledge and tools to counter it,” the whistleblower wrote in his letter.
“Months passed, then years. The threat grew in urgency; serious actions remained without follow-up. I have endeavored, alone and with others, to raise my concerns about this threat directly with those in a position to hold our senior officials to account. Unfortunately, these people were unable to do so. »
“In the time that had elapsed, another federal election had taken place, the threat of interference had increased, and it had become increasingly clear that no serious action was contemplated. Worse still, the evidence of senior officials unaware of the interference was beginning to pile up,” he added.
For the Bloc leader, this letter confirms more than ever the need to hold a public inquiry.
“Justin Trudeau claimed that he had not received any information in the past about the influences exercised by the Chinese Communist regime. Everything seems to indicate otherwise. He would then have deliberately and repeatedly ignored signals from his own intelligence service about the risks of foreign interference in the Canadian democratic process,” Blanchet said Monday.
“CSIS ultimately found it necessary to let Canadians know that the various actions and Chinese interference in all their forms-election financing, ‘police stations’, intimidation, manipulation on social media and potentially industrial and research espionage- are the main threat to Canada’s national security. It is inconceivable that Justin Trudeau disavows his own intelligence service and that he persists in refusing the independent public inquiry demanded of him not only by the Bloc Québécois and the opposition, but also by the population and many experts,” he said. he adds.
Last week, Justin Trudeau confirmed Mr. Johnston’s appointment as Special Rapporteur. Its mandate will be to examine “the consequences of foreign interference in the last two federal general elections” and to “provide expert recommendations on how to better protect our democracy.”
At the end of this exercise, the government will respect the recommendations of the former governor general, which could include “a formal investigation, judicial review or other independent review process, and will implement them”, he said. -we know.
The Conservative Party, the Bloc Québécois and the NDP are demanding an independent public inquiry into allegations of Chinese interference in the federal election. In recent weeks, The Globe and Mail has reported that China has used sophisticated strategies to secure the election of a minority Liberal government and the defeat of some conservative candidates deemed hostile to the communist regime in Beijing.